At the start of Prussian rule, Poznań began a western expansion which continued throughout the 19th century. The closest thing available to a quiet and rich residential neighbourhood was the area around the former Ludwiki Street. Because of the enclosed nature of the fortress city, stylish residential buildings overlooked poor housing on nearby streets. The large crowded rental blocks of the latter featured ground-floor stores and noisy workshops in the back. Poznań’s first tenement house was erected in 1838. As the city’s population expanded, more and more buildings of this kind were built. Little by little, tenement houses spread into previously undeveloped parts of town. While more affluent inhabitants could afford ever larger flats on the front side of buildings, poorer residents were relegated to rows of add-ons erected in the rear.
Instead of backside add-ons, luxury townhouses at Ludwiki Street featured back-yard gardens which improved living comfort.